Archive for the ‘Self-help’ Category

Quarter-Life Crisis

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

In other words, what are you going to do over the next four to five decades to earn a living that is meaningful? I heard this question echo from twenty talented, motivated, and ambitious Gen Y’s this past week. It’s the never ending nagging question that shows up when considering a possible college major. Graduate school program. Or career path. It’s the question that ignites panic. Fear. And depression. Why does it trigger such scary feelings?

Because your answer may differ from your parents’ idea of what you should be doing. From your friends. Or from other important influencers who think you should be choosing something practical. Something that pays well. Provides status. You have friends following the straight and narrow. They know what they’re doing. Their certainty makes you feel inadequate. Ashamed of lacking the certainty they have. What makes it harder is you feel there is no room for a  mistake. Opportunity knocks once. Make a mistake now and you will be too old.  Too old for that graduate school. Too old to get on the right career track. 

Hold on! (more…)

#51 Mommy, why do I have three dads?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Welcome to my very first premium episode of Ask Dr. Harriet. Today, we meet a woman who not only is one of the foremost experts on divorce and the growing phenomenon of the multiple step family, she and her husband also are part of a large blended family. Ann Ordway is a divorce lawyer in New Jersey specializing in couples mediation, communication and family counseling. The sometimes devastating ways in which divorce and re-marriage impact children is why Ann and husband Steve started Little Voices. In this episode we discuss how you know when divorce is the only alternative, and steps you can take now to prevent your relationship from reaching that point. We also delve into how divorce has evolved in society, and what that means for children growing up. Music heard on this show includes Wouldn’t It Be Nice, by the Beach Boys and It’s Your Lucky Day Now, by AJ and the Frozen Tundra Blues Band.

This episode is currently only available to Premium subscribers.

#50 Welcome Back

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Wait a minute, you haven’t been away, I have. And boy have I been busy creating a brand new series of shows aimed at providing you with the tools and techniques to help you thrive at this thing we call life!

Fittingly, we start with Life Coaching. What is it? How do you know you need one? Where can you find the best one for you? How does it work? What does it cost? Here are the straight answers to all your questions and more. I also hope you will sign up for my Premium podcast series were we will explore in-depth areas such as GenX-Y career development, divorce and step families, relationships and much more. Music heard on this show includes "Welcome Back" by John Sebastian.

This episode is currently only available to Premium subscribers.

Getting Ahead

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Harriet KatzMaybe it’s because of the political season. Maybe not. But I’ve been getting complaints about office politics, none-stop. They come from the young who are new to the world of work. Those who’ve been at the game a while, refer to office games as energy guzzlers. Retirees say it’s the thing they miss the least. Seems the only ones who get off on office games are the folks who spend the bulk of their time promoting themselves instead of doing the work. You can’t entirely ignore the games. But there is a better way to get ahead. 

In addition to performing really well, here are a few tips. 

  • Take the time to create your Career Plan. Think at least 5 – 10 years out. What kind of work would you like to be doing? At what level. What experience do you need to get there? What new skills? Knowledge? Consider opportunities in your organization. Identify possible outside opportunities. Power comes from unambiguous clarity of purpose.
  • Communicate clearly and frequently to important stakeholders about how well you are doing. Your importance and shelf life dwindle when communication ceases. Your stock goes up when you relay frequent, brief contacts about your accomplishments and progress. 
  • Take control.  You be the one to step up to the plate. Set the strategy. Take action. Always mind your manners. Bad behavior is usually a power play to intimidate. Don’t get caught in someone else’s game. At work there are no winners or losers. There are those who take control. And there are those who lose it.
There’s lots more to talk about. What lessons have you learned at work? What have you faced? Has it soured you? What did you do to get past it? 

Downsized, Moving On

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Harriet KatzThese past weeks I have found myself under an avalanche of layoffs. I have been working with fabulous professionals who have been “downsized.” Most recently, they have spanned the fashion, finance, and manufacturing industries. The headliners that initially overpower people are the amorphous mass otherwise known as the lack of structure during the day and the sudden plunge in confidence when you have lost your place.

About the amorphous mass, it’s true. Structure is incredibly helpful. It is what helps to provide you a place. Tells you where you need to be. Tells you who to call. It is the infrastructure that eases you through the day. Confidence plunges when you lose your place with the team. When you lose your connection with what you do. When you no longer get reinforced with a paycheck or camaraderie.

What can you do? Plenty. When you no longer have a daily place to go to, you must create your own structure. Do this by making appointments and blocking out time on your calendar to do research, to make calls to set up appointments, or to take breaks to run errands and renew yourself. To build confidence, reconnect with people who can and will support you through the process.

Have you been downsized? What have you found that works for you? How soon? Were there other options open to you that you could have taken at the time? What did you learn from it? What would you do differently today?

You’re Fired!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Harriet KatzLately I’ve been getting calls from a lot of people who are out of work. None by choice. Some recognized signs the end might be coming. Others did not. Either way, most are hurt, angry, and feel betrayed. Picking up and moving on is down right hard.

The two biggest stumblers of moving on are: getting over what just happened and finding the confidence to run a smart job campaign. Getting over the trauma takes time. Time to digest. Time to recoup. Not time to escape. But a great time to rethink what you want to target. To connect and re-connect with people who can help you. And a time to further develop your presentation skills. Confidence comes from doing what you need to be doing and getting better and better as you do it. It’s not magic. These are real skills. All of them are learnable.

Everyone on this journey at some point feels down. What do you do when you feel hopeless? When your confidence slips? When you resent what life dished up? Do you have people who lift your spirits when they are down?

#49 – Crossroads

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Funny how doing anything for exactly one year can often spawn an epiphany. It tugs at us to change direction, however minor the adjustment, to breathe new life into what seemed perfectly on-course until that 365 day marker appeared in the rearview mirror. Okay, enough suspense already. Harriet Katz is branching out! And what an exciting ride it is going to be! Music heard on this show includes You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

This episode is currently only available to Premium subscribers.

Micro Managers

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Harriet KatzI got an earful from John the other day. His boss won’t let him breathe. Since the new guy took over his department, John’s interest and enthusiasm has dropped. He says this guy is always looking over his shoulder. Criticizing his approach. Openly or not so openly letting him know his way is the only way.

There’s a lot of talk in organizations about performance. Raising performance. The big question is how can anyone perform who can barely breath? Does that mean John or anyone in that situation needs to leave in order to move their career along? Depends. (more…)

Pushed Out

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Harriet KatzCindy called to say her work situation is going south, after more than twelve years. She is a Senior Vice President who had aspirations of gaining the top position in her department. But nine months ago Bob was hired to the post- ahead of Cindy. (more…)

#44 – He-She Stuff

Monday, March 17th, 2008

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It’s advice time. Ken dipped into our email bag and found five great questions- all about the never-ending battle of the sexes! Music includes “The Leprechaun” by the Brobodingnagrian Bards.

This episode is currently only available to Premium subscribers.